Alberta’s rate of preterm birth is the highest in Canada.
Our rate of admission to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of 1 in 8 is higher than the national average of 1 in 10.
These babies are born too sick, too early and too small. This leads to the busiest, highest level of intensive care NICU in the country at Foothills Medical Centre.
Newborns Need is a collaborative investment of $152 million between Calgary Health Foundation, Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services. It is a commitment to maternal and newborn health, investing in programs, research and infrastructure, to ensure the best possible outcomes for the most vulnerable newborns and their families.
This is the biggest investment in maternal and newborn health currently underway.
Expansion of the Shaganappi community health complex for prenatal and postpartum health services
MUMs program for mental health support during postpartum
IMPRESS study to advance detection and intervention of preeclampsia
Detection and prevention of pre-term birth
Built and equipped nearly 25 years ago with only 39 beds, it is 1/3 smaller than similar NICU’s across the country. And while Foothills’ care outcomes are among the best in the country, the existing space cannot accommodate the innovations and best practices that have become today’s standard of care.
To address this urgent need, Calgary Health Foundation, Alberta Health Services and the Government of Alberta have committed to funding a new NICU at Foothills Medical Centre.
Alberta has reached such a critical point in preterm births that more than 40 scientists and clinical researchers have launched an unprecedented initiative to find tangible solutions for families. Funded by $5 million in community donations through the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation and Calgary Health Foundation, the team aims to increase global knowledge and provide immediate real-world health benefits to expectant mothers and newborn babies in our community.
With experts collaborating from the lab to the clinic and into our community, southern Alberta families will become the first to benefit from breakthroughs in preterm birth interventions.
Mike Meldrum, President & CEO, Calgary Health Foundation
Sex- and gender-related disparities continue to persist in Canada’s health system. Women are more likely to die of preventable illnesses and bear a higher burden of chronic illnesses.
source: Canada, budget 2021
Improving the impact of COVID-19 vaccinations for mother-infant health. The project aims to provide Albertans of reproductive age, pregnant or breastfeeding and their families with effectiveness and safety data to make healthy choices. It will also provide clinicians, public health officials and decision-makers with necessary metrics for program implementation and evaluation of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (a type of brain dysfunction when not enough oxygen or blood flow is received over a period of time) complications during birth can be devastating for families. An Alberta-wide study is underway to identify early indicators of HIE, with the long-term goal of a 50% reduction in cases. Newborns experiencing HIE may die or face debilitating and life-long conditions, creating a heavy burden on the health system. And ultimately, HIE has a traumatic and heart-breaking experience for families and often care providers.
Your support of Calgary Health Foundation has funded breakthroughs that are transforming lives. See how!